the Degree Confluence Project

United States : Washington

1.6 miles (2.5 km) S of Blyn, Clallam, WA, USA
Approx. altitude: 256 m (839 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest OpenStreetMap topo aerial ConfluenceNavigator)
Antipode: 48°S 57°E

Accuracy: 395 m (431 yd)
Quality: good

Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: Road sign at Olympic National Forest boundary #3: Difficult terrain on the approach #4: GPS reading #5: National Forest boundary marker

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  48°N 123°W (visit #1) (incomplete) 

#1: John, Elizabeth (John's 2-year-old daughter), and Jason

(visited by John Elsbree, Jason Black and Elizabeth Elsbree)

31-Oct-1999 -- Halloween turned out to be one of those rare Northwest fall days when the sun was shining and there was no threat of rain. Combined with moderate temperatures, we had ideal weather conditions for a confluence attempt.

Time was our worst enemy in this attempt. We set out from home at about 11:45 a.m., but we should have started much earlier. From our starting point in Redmond, WA, we had about two hours of driving, plus a ferry trip, ahead of us. We arrived at the closest vehicle-accessible point to the confluence around 2:30, leaving us just over 2 hours until sunset. With high ridges and dense forest in every direction, darkness would arrive even sooner.

As we approached the place where we would park the vehicle and continue on foot, we realized we may have neglected to bring a critical piece of gear: orange vests. We passed several pedestrians, all wearing orange vests, and some carrying guns. It's huntin' season out there! Undeterred, we continued up the road to see what we would find.

We started our hike at the point where Woods Road enters the Olympic National Forest (photo #2), a couple miles south of Blyn, WA, and about 7 miles southeast of Sequim, WA (pronounced "Squim" -- the "e" is silent). The confluence is actually on the boundary of the National Forest, about a quarter-mile east of the road. But with a quick glance at the terrain (photo 3), we realized this would be no "walk in the park." The topo map had warned us that the elevation gain was severe -- at least 300 feet -- but we hadn't anticipated an obstacle course in the form of thick underbrush and an endless jumble of fallen trees. Once we started in, we quickly determined that no hunters would be anywhere near us. They wouldn't bother with this kind of terrain.

We made a good effort to reach the confluence point, but after only about 45 minutes, the sunlight was fading and so was our GPS reception, thanks to the thick forest canopy. With another hour of daylight available, we probably would have been able to make it (why did Daylight Saving Time have to end just this morning?). We found a spot where we could at least get a fix on the satellites, and took a GPS reading (photo 4). At this point we were .032 minutes south and .314 minutes west of the actual confluence. Then we found Bigfoot and asked him to take a picture of the three of us (photo #1). No, actually, we set the camera on a huge fallen tree and used the self-timer.

During our return to the road, we took a slightly different route and encountered some boundary markers for the National Forest (photo #5) and a Clallam County survey monument (photo #6). Both of these appeared to be coincident with the 48N parallel.

Tired and disappointed, we returned to our vehicle for the long drive home. We may attempt this confluence again next spring or summer, when we'll have the luxury of more daylight.

 All pictures
#1: John, Elizabeth (John's 2-year-old daughter), and Jason
#2: Road sign at Olympic National Forest boundary
#3: Difficult terrain on the approach
#4: GPS reading
#5: National Forest boundary marker
#6: Clallam County survey monument
ALL: All pictures on one page